Volunteer Leadership

The Specialty Food Association was created by the members, for the members, and we rely on their input to help guide the association. Volunteer leadership positions offer an opportunity for SFA members to have a direct voice in the development of SFA programs and services and, by extension, to help support the continued growth and success of the specialty food industry.

Each year we issue a call for nominations for volunteer leadership seats. For the 2024-2025 service year, this includes the Board of Directors, Committee, and Council roles in alignment with the 2026 SFA Strategic Plan.

Volunteer opportunities are open to employees, partners, or individuals actively involved in the business or management of SFA member companies in good standing. Information about volunteer opportunities for the following year is sent to SFA members in the spring.

Election and Appointment Process for SFA Volunteer Leadership Explained

Nomination/Election Timeline:

  • January-February: Nominations accepted for all volunteer positions.
  • March-May: Review of nominees, including qualifications, past contributions if currently serving, and interviews as necessary for Board openings.
  • June: Voting begins for Board of Directors slate; Results of election and appointment of volunteers announced at Annual Member Meeting.

SFA Board of Directors

  • Overview: Diverse group of 15 Directors with staggered terms responsible for the overall governance of the SFA as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization. Each director serves a three-year term and must act honestly, in good faith, and in the best interest of SFA to support fulfillment of the SFA mission.
  • Time Commitment: Estimated 10-15 hours per month including attendance at minimum of four full Board Meetings per year (one to two days each) in addition to other volunteer group participation. 

Election FAQ

  • Where does the slate come from? 

Since 2020, the slate has been recommended by a Nominating Committee, which includes existing SFA Directors and additional, independent SFA members who previously served on the board. This Committee is chartered to recommend a slate of incoming Directors for approval by the full Board, which is then presented to the Membership for a vote to elect.  

The Committee creates each slate based on a process of thoroughly reviewing and discussing the data and responses collected from each candidate’s nomination form. Exceptional candidates advance to an interview round with the Committee, held via video conference; and the slate is determined after additional discussion and debate. The Nominating Committee also appoints Directors to serve on Board Committees.  

  • Who gets to vote? 

Each General Member company can cast one vote.  

Alliance Member companies and SFA staff do not vote in the election.  

  • Can we vote in person at the Summer Fancy Food Show? 

No. All voting is conducted online through a third-party proxy company. For the 2024-25 service year, voting concluded on June 17, 2024.

  • When will the results be announced? 

Results of the Board of Director election is announced at the Annual Member Meeting, including the appointment of the Officers for the next one-year term.   

The 2024 meeting was held on Zoom on June 20, 2024. All appointed volunteers received notification prior to that meeting.  

  • I don’t see Board Officers listed on the ballot. How are they elected? 

Officers (the chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer) are appointed by the Board of Directors from the existing directors.

  • I have more questions.  Who can I go to? 

Please send questions to Laura Lozada, VP, Operations at [email protected] 


To review the SFA Bylaws, click here.

We are committed to attracting and retaining employees, volunteers, third-party partners, and members that reflect diverse experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives in order to best serve the diversified profile of makers, buyers, distributors, and service providers in the food and beverage industry.

We strive to create a culture of inclusion and belonging where all of these individuals feel valued, respected, and have the opportunity to thrive.

Questions? Please reach out to your SFA Member Representative.